May 30, 1993 - From the May, 1993 issue

Inside Planning: Around the City and the Region

Updates on Sacramento growth management legislation, various L.A. reorganization or races, and White picks his staff in the MTA — TPR's recent land-use news in the City of Los Angeles and the region.

Sacramento Update 

Little progress has been made in Sacramento toward comprehensive growth management legislation. Governor Wilson has still not sponsored any bills based on his "strategic growth" package and everyone is waiting for the Governor to enter the fray more actively. 

The Senate Local Government Committee did hold hearings on April 28th on the seven major bills. A coalition of environmental, labor, and business groups continues to support Sen. Presley's bills (SB 377 and SB 844) while a builder-oriented group is working on a counterproposal that may be folded into SB869 (Bergeson).

Meanwhile, the Senate Local Government Committee has approved SB 660 (Deddeh) which would apply the Permit Streamlining Act to General Plan amendments connected to permit applications. 

That committee's chairwoman -­ Sen. Marian Bergeson -- won't be leaving after all. Her nomination to become Superintendent of Public Instruction was defeated during April, following opposition by Assembly Speaker Willie Brown. 

L.A. Housing Department

The City of Los Angeles' Housing Preservation and Production Department has changed its name. The City Council last month got rid of that mouthful and approved a new name for the department -- simply, the L.A. Housing Department (LAHP). 

L.A. Planning Layoffs?

A proposal to lay off staff members in the City of Los Angeles' Departments of City Planning and Building and Safely -- defeated in the City Council last December -- may be back before the Council during May. Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky has taken the proposal back to his Budget and Finance Committee. Meanwhile, Mayor Bradley in his budget proposed laying off 21 staffers from Planning (with 15 effective July 1st) and 113 from Building and Safety. Councilmembers Bernson, Galanter, and Hernandez have put forward their own variations on this layoff proposal. More Council discussion of this issue is likely during the budget consideration during May: a two-thirds vote of the Council will be required to override an item in the Mayor's budget. 

L.A. Planning Streamlining

The City of L.A.'s permitting system is not about to become a case study for Reinventing Government, but it may be improving. The City's Planning Department has listed 30 improvements to the City's permit processing system that were put into operation as part of the Permit Processing Network (PPN) established by Councilman Hal Bernson in January.

An interdepartmental task force is now recommending to the City Council eight proposals to strengthen the PPN, including a request that each general manager designate a staffer with sign-off authority.


L.A. City Council Races

With the April 20th Los Angeles City primary elections behind us, four City Council runoffs will take place on June 8th -- elections that could significantly shape City policy on planning issues. In the Third District, incumbent Joy Picus faces former aide Laura Chick, who has attempted to make an issue of Picus' handling of the Warner Center Specific Plan and the Warner Ridge case. In the Seventh District, fire captain and union official Lyle Hall faces Mayor Bradley's San Fernando Valley representative, Richard Alarcon. In the Thirteenth District, vacated by mayoral candidate Michael Woo, John Ferraro's deputy, Tom LaBonge, faces former school board member Jackie Goldberg. The runoff offers a stark contrast between LaBonge's orientation toward business and constituent service to Goldberg's emphasis on community organizing and social services. In the Fifteenth District, Joan Milke Flores, once thought vulnerable to a challenge to her left, faces a runoff opponent to her right -- businessman Rudy Svorinich. 

The Planning Report has provided a breakdown of the mayoral primary results by Council districts. See the chart below.

Burbank Council Races 

The City of Burbank held its Council runoff elections in April, with Dave Golonski, Bill Wiggins and Susan Spanos winning seats on the five-member body. The election was marked by debate over the future of the former Lockheed site (which could be the future home of the L.A. Clippers or a Wal-Mart store) and by the new power of Burbank's labor unions. 

LA/CRA Reorganization 

The Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency has reshuffled its staff to manage the Recovery Redevelopment Plans approved by City Council during April. As an example, Cooke Sunoo, the longtime head of the Hollywood project, will now be staffing the Wilshire Center/Koreatown effort. Herbert Marshall will become Project Manager for the South Central project, and Roy Willis will become a Director of Operations with oversight of the Hollywood project. 

MTA -- White Picks a Staff 

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chief Executive Officer Franklin While made several appointments in April, effective through October 31st. Judy Wilson was named Executive Officer, Planning and Programming. Arthur Leahy was appointed to be Executive Officer, Operations. Ed McSpedon remains President of the Rail Construction Corporation and becomes Executive Officer, Construction. 

Jerry Givens, formerly or LACTC, and Gary Spivack, formerly of RTD, have been reassigned to serve as part of Franklin White's third floor executive office. And the mad scramble for jobs goes on...


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